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11/03/2003 09:17:07 PM · #1
Post your comments, questions, and reviews for...

'Improving Shadow and Highlight Detail'
by timj351

View this tutorial here.
11/03/2003 09:40:28 PM · #2
Good tutorial Tim. Definetely an action worth making. Only problem is that I often want the opposite effect, just my style. I actually liked a lot of the original shots in the tutorial better then the fixed ones. I do however want things to look more natural on occasion, especially in places where the lighting is really bad and I will use this technique. Thanks.
11/04/2003 06:09:58 AM · #3
It should perhaps be made clear that this is not a 'dpc legal' way of doing things somewhere - the fact that it's hosted here as a tutorial might suggest that it is, to some.

ed

Message edited by author 2003-11-04 06:10:08.
11/04/2003 07:02:23 AM · #4
I've used this form of contrast masking for a while now, with excellent results. I believe it's a slightly more sophisticated version of what you're doing, to me the results are much better. Check it out, and let us know what you think...
BTW, I REALLY wish this technique was DPC-legal. I think it's outrageous that I can produce shots that look heavily filtered, but can't carry out contrast masking.
11/04/2003 08:47:45 AM · #5
This thread is timely. With the release of Photoshop CS, there will be a photoshop function (shadow/highlight correction) to bring out shadow detail. Like many "smart" PS functions, I'm sure this one depends on something like the contrast masking technique, however it might be considered DPC legal, since:
- It would not involve an explicitly selected area (as opposed to an explicit selected area... sorry, mind in the gutter)
- The intent is "to preserve the integrity of the image", i.e. bring out detail, much like USM.
- It does not "move pixels", which seems to be the test by which legality is judged.
I believe that an Admin/Council review may be required on this new PS function. My CS upgrade is in transit, I should have time to install and play this weekend, and this function is on my list of things to investigate.

11/04/2003 08:53:06 AM · #6
Originally posted by kirbic:

This thread is timely. With the release of Photoshop CS, there will be a photoshop function (shadow/highlight correction) to bring out shadow detail. Like many "smart" PS functions, I'm sure this one depends on something like the contrast masking technique, however it might be considered DPC legal, since:
- It would not involve an explicitly selected area (as opposed to an explicit selected area... sorry, mind in the gutter)
- The intent is "to preserve the integrity of the image", i.e. bring out detail, much like USM.
- It does not "move pixels", which seems to be the test by which legality is judged.
I believe that an Admin/Council review may be required on this new PS function. My CS upgrade is in transit, I should have time to install and play this weekend, and this function is on my list of things to investigate.


If this is judged legal, then I don't see why the previous method of contrast masking shouldn't be made legal.
A concise description of it...
Duplicate Layer
Desaturate
Invert
Make layer in 'overlay' mode.
Add Gaussian Blur.
Reduce layer opacity.

This technique does not involve an explicitly selected area.
This technique preserves the integrity of the image.
This technique does not move pixels.
Done properly, a viewer would not be able to tell that something had been carried out in Photoshop.

Message edited by author 2003-11-04 08:53:55.
11/04/2003 09:26:43 AM · #7
nice tutorial, tim. short and sweet with some good examples.

i should point out, if its possible to fix, that there seems to be a direction missing. in the section where you describe making the shadow layer you explain the step, one of which is "feather as above", eluding to the previous step involving the highlights layer, but in that step you do not suggest any feathering should be used on the selection.

minor, but perhaps worth changing.

cheers, and thanks for the tip!

darcy
11/04/2003 11:27:11 AM · #8
Wow...great tutorial! Quick, easy and very effective technique for photo-rescue! I tried it on a snapshot (that would have otherwise been trashed) of someone back/side-lit by huge windows. The shadowing was so harsh that I had to run the shadows through a 100% screen 2 or 3 times. The results look very natural...almost as if I had been bouncing light at his face with a reflector.

There were a couple of areas that were shadowed that came out super-saturated in the process...I just desaturate-sponged them a bit and it looks great.

Thanks!
11/04/2003 07:10:25 PM · #9
@BobsterLobster:
Well, I certainly would not disagree that it arguably should be legal, but currently the use of layers is not legal, except for adjustment layers.
11/04/2003 08:29:15 PM · #10
Originally posted by darcy:

nice tutorial, tim. short and sweet with some good examples.

i should point out, if its possible to fix, that there seems to be a direction missing. in the section where you describe making the shadow layer you explain the step, one of which is "feather as above", eluding to the previous step involving the highlights layer, but in that step you do not suggest any feathering should be used on the selection.

minor, but perhaps worth changing.

cheers, and thanks for the tip!

darcy


Thanks for pointing out my mistake, Darcy. After you make the selection using the Control+Alt+~ you should feather the selection by 1 or 2 pixels before you copy the selection to the new layer. This may seem trivial but it actually makes a difference. I will try to get the tutorial updated soon.

T
11/05/2003 06:19:27 AM · #11
Originally posted by BobsterLobster:

I've used this form of contrast masking for a while now, with excellent results. I believe it's a slightly more sophisticated version of what you're doing, to me the results are much better. Check it out, and let us know what you think...
BTW, I REALLY wish this technique was DPC-legal. I think it's outrageous that I can produce shots that look heavily filtered, but can't carry out contrast masking.


Timj351... did you not see this post?
Maybe you can let us know what you think of this method of contrast masking? I think it works better myself...
11/05/2003 10:28:02 AM · #12
oops wrong thread..
great tutorial by the way

Message edited by author 2003-11-05 10:28:40.
11/08/2003 12:56:59 PM · #13
i wanted to show how well this tutorial has worked for me.

here is the original
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and here is the results i got
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/675/thumb/46071.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/675/thumb/46071.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

thanks tim for a great tutorial
11/08/2003 04:52:34 PM · #14
I will be looking into that Bob, thanks. I thought that the method I described was pretty simple yet it still allowed for plenty of control. However, I am always looking for better ways to do something.

Achiral, I'm glad you found it helpful. I hope you noticed the discussion on the part that I accidentally left out of the tutorial about feathering the selection first by 1 or 2 pixels. I'm trying to get that added in but it could take some time :)

t
11/08/2003 05:03:43 PM · #15
Thanks Tim. I was just dealing with this problem late last night trying to use layers and having a problem getting them to blend properly. I will give this a try and post the results later.
11/08/2003 06:06:49 PM · #16
thanks for this tut.. here's an example of one of my pics:

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11/08/2003 06:23:45 PM · #17
When you've created the feathered selection, you say create a new layer. At least in PS 5 the new layer is created with the selection intact but without any contents. I had to first Copy the contents of the selection to the Clipboard, then create the new layer and paste it in.

It seems to me you're just letting PS create a soft-edged mask for you using some tonal value cutoff to pick the selection.

You could probably do the same yourself with more flexibility using the Magic Wand tood creatively.
11/08/2003 06:42:59 PM · #18
not to say the tutorial isnt helpful, but

bobster lobsters - as far as editing outside the challenges
has produced good results for me - and i have used it on a dozen photos so far.

i also read a more complicated one in the dec issue of PCPhoto magazine
but have yet to try that as the other seems to work just fine.

worth checking out the results in my mind..

soup
11/08/2003 06:49:17 PM · #19
The two best ways to correct shadow and highlight detail I have got to know up to now are:

1) The blending of and underexposed and overexposed pic -the same of course, on a tripod) by hand or (much quicker) with Fred Miranda's Dynamic Range Increase action.
Because it takes advantage of two seperate clean low ISO exposures it is very accurate and creates no extra noise in the shadows. But when the difference in intensity is extreme, it might create halo's. But by introducing some manual influences in the original action you can overcome that.

2) Correcting one single exposure, exposed to get the highlights clean and with full detail. I correct the exposure by a manual adjustment of Curves -each photo is different-, and/or extreme dodging (30 to 60% or double 30% opacity) on a 50% grey overlay layer.
This is a lot of precise work and the edge transisitions are very hard to get right. The punch of the exposure remains, without introducing too much shadown noice.

3) All other methods with a slight pre for Fred Miranda's Shadow Recovery Pro plugin. I found that I can get way better results with 2), but that takes me 30 to 60 minutes for each photo where this plugin does a reasonable job for 5 minutes work. The DRI action takes me less than one minutem but it requires two perfectly identical exposures wich is impossible for any alive subject.
The method you Tj described introduces some extra noise, but for small prints that doesn't really mather. It is ok as well.

So I decided to use the DRI action on double exposures for anything static and to use the SR Pro plugin for everything that moves. Unfortunately I see that the the DRI action has disappeared from Fred Miranda's site.
I am not sure if I can recommend the SR plugin. Ok, it is a fast workaround, the results are ok-ish, but it is quit expensive. And again, hand editing yields the best results byt also takes a lot of time. Ok when you have to work on 1 file, but it ain't fun when you have to work on 20 (yes, 20 shots with dynamic range that a prosumer digital like the 602, nor a camera like the 10D can capture).

This shadow thing is one of the most important things manufacturers will have to work on in my view. More megapixels is ok, but CCD's that can cover an extra 1 or 2 EV dynamic range would be very welcome.

Message edited by author 2003-11-08 18:57:51.
11/08/2003 08:38:45 PM · #20
This tutorial is written for Photoshop. Right? Is there one out there for PSP?

I really like what I saw of the before an after photos presented in this thread...from everyone.
11/09/2003 11:37:02 PM · #21
Finally had a chance to try this.

Original:

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Edited:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/11487/thumb/46333.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/11487/thumb/46333.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Thanks for the tutorial Tim!
01/08/2004 09:39:27 PM · #22
Originally posted by Silent Sister:

This tutorial is written for Photoshop. Right? Is there one out there for PSP?

I really like what I saw of the before an after photos presented in this thread...from everyone.


I haven't found any nifty shortcut keys, but here is how to achieve this same effect in PSP 8:

Duplicate the Background layer (or whatever layer you want to use) and open the Layer Properties. Set the Name to "Highlights" and the Blend mode to Multiply. Then click the Blend Ranges tab and drag the top left slider for "This layer" all the way to the right. Close the box.

Duplicate the Background layer again and open the Properties for the new layer. Set the Name to "Shadows" and the Blend mode to Screen. Click Blend Ranges and drag the top right slider for "This layer" all the way to the left. Close the box.

Adjust the Opacity sliders to get the effect you want.
01/08/2004 10:05:49 PM · #23
Tim,
This was one of the first tutorials I checked out here and it has really been a benefit to me. I started a thread last week to find out if it was legal to use in challenges and was sad to hear that it is not. But it's still been very helpful to me (sometimes I think I may use it too much) :-) Thank you for the tutorial!
Jen
01/08/2004 10:58:05 PM · #24
Thanks for the information using PSP8. I'll try it tonight. I'd almost forgot about asking....haha.....so was really glad to see that you'd responded. Thanks again. Nita
01/20/2004 08:06:53 PM · #25
I am using elements 2.0, the tutorial is helpfull, but having some trouble , should I select the whole image or just the dark shadow parts that I want changed in blend mode

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