Fixing portrait with harsh light with Picture Postcard Workflow



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    NeilLNeilL Registered Users Posts: 4,201 Major grins
    edited June 26, 2009
    pathfinder wrote:
    NeiL, the post is still available, but just not visible to readers.

    As I read the post, you listed the use of plug ins, but did not offer specific steps with illustrations, such that I or any other reader, could duplicate what you did. That does not meet the criteria for GS.

    If you wish, I can pm the text of your post to you, so that you can repost it in Finishing School.. It is a fine post, but it does not meet the specific criteria for GS.

    Understand, and thanks.

    I think my version is worth looking at. It is quite different to the other versions. However, the OP and others involved showed no interest, so it seems like it will not be missed.

    Thanks for your help. The Grad School deepens the usefulness of dGrin to photographers.


    "Snow. Ice. Slow!" "Half-winter. Half-moon. Half-asleep!"

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    jjbongjjbong Registered Users Posts: 244 Major grins
    edited August 1, 2009
    rutt wrote:
    [*]Color enhancement in with channel blending in LAB The next two steps will seem very odd at first and understanding how they work in detail requires understanding all four of LAB, overlay blends, layer masks, and the Apply Image command. I suppose that makes them advanced. On the other hand, they are quick to do and could easily be distilled into actions to make them even quicker. I recommend trying this out without thinking about it too much at first. Then you can always learn more about the relevant tools and ideas.

    I have been using a modified version of Dan's PPW, with very good results on all types of shots. However, I've found this particular step problematic, and there's an easy replacement.

    As you noted, it requires a fair amount of Photoshop expertise to understand what's going on, along with an understanding of LAB. In addition, the overlay of A and B onto themselves does the same color enhancement in all 4 axes, if you will (magenta, green, blue, yellow). In some cases, you want to limit the enhancement in maybe one of them. Recently, Dan Margulis has noted that you usually want more enhancement in the A than in the B channel. I've found that sometimes enhancing the positive A (magenta) in portraits highlights unwelcome features (makes the nose redder for some, highlights blemishes, etc.).

    So I think a simpler way to do this is with curves. I've replaced the overlay move in my workflow with the following LAB curves:



    The A curve comes in 18%, while the B curve comes in 10%. I'm not claiming that these particular values are ideal, but they seem to work. The larger point is that you have a fair amount of control here. You can change the slope of the curves, and you can curve the positive and negative parts differently. For example, if you want to enhance the green but not the magenta, you can change the A channel curve thusly:


    With the Overlay move, I found myself playing around with Blend-Ifs on various channels, sometimes without much success.

    Here you can also control the Opacity of the curves adjustment layer. The one thing this doesn't do that your workflow step does is a reduced contrast enhancement of the L channel, but clearly you can do that too with an L curve, and even set a default (assuming all of this is embedded in an Action).

    Photoshop provides many ways to accomplish the same thing, and I don't think debating which one is best is particularly useful. However, here I think there's an alternative to Dan's Overlay move which is both easier to comprehend (explain) and gives you a lot more control.

    John Bongiovanni
    John Bongiovanni
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    MarcelloMarcello Registered Users Posts: 4 Beginner grinner
    edited April 3, 2011
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