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New Orleans Photography EXPERIENCE Message Board Photography › Photoshop - Quick Fix on bad Flix

Photoshop - Quick Fix on bad Flix

Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 147
The photograph below was taken in late December. 2006 in Las Vegas. The lovely subject is my middle daughter, Brandi. Ain't she a cutie? The photo was shot with a Kodak 3 megapixel point-and-shoot camera. This was the last day the camera would ever work but that's a whole other story.

I simply adore this photograph of Brandi because she was so happy and spunky this day. Not that she's not normally happy and spunky but she'd asked for a trip to Las Vegas for Christmas that year and much to her surprise that's what she got. You know how dads are... what the baby girl wants the baby girl gets.

My problem with this photograph I think is obvious... that awful metal retaining cage behind her. Taken on a foot bridge over Las Vegas Boulevard it couldn't be helped and as luck would have it this is my favorite picture of Brandi from our trip. The traffic on The Strip in the lower left of the photo doesn't help matters and she's slightly off center.

Like I said, I really like this shot and decided to use it as a sample of a quick fix using Adobe Photoshop - version CS2 in this case. Below the photo is the simple process I used to fix this all too busy picture.

  • Open the original image.
  • Duplicate the background (Never work with your original file).
  • Use the SPOT HEALING BRUSH to dab out any skin blemishes or wrinkles. (Notice under her eyes)
  • Click on FILTER and select OTHER and HIGH PASS. Set the radius to 4.0 and click OK.
  • Change the layer setting to VIVID LIGHT.
  • CTRL + E to flatten the image.
  • Duplicate the layer again.
  • Click on FILTER and select BLUR then GAUSSIAN BLUR and set the radius to 30.0.
  • Leave the layer setting at NORMAL.
  • Add a layer mask.
  • Select the BRUSH tool and set the MODE to Normal, OPACITY to 50% and FLOW to 70%.
  • Apply the brush to the area of the image you wish to clear up.
  • Change the BRUSH tool's OPACITY to 100% and brush away the blur in the eyes and mouth only.
  • Create a new adjustment layer of CURVES and add contrast to your liking.
  • Click SELECT then ALL. Then select Edit, choose COPY MERGED. Select Edit again and choose PASTE.
  • Crop to your liking.

My final result can be seen below. Notice the background has been left blurred leaving Brandi as the clear subject of the photograph. I cropped to a bust shot and thereby eliminated the camera in her hand, the Coke tucked under her right arm and a lot of the background clutter.

The retaining cage is still visible but far less noticeable and the eye doesn't roam the image nearly as much as in the original.

My finished product is below.

You can, of course, experiment with the filter settings to achieve the effect that best suites your tastes. This is a basic guideline to help fix a picture that maybe wasn't shot where you really wanted it to be or cropped to your liking and turn it into something that... well, makes you look pretty good!

The final image is much more photographically pleasing and compositionally correct and is what a photograph aims to be - pleasing to the eye. Hey, I told you she was a cutie!

That's it... now you try one and post your results if you wish. Good luck and happy shooting!
Group Organizer
New Orleans, LA
Post #: 10
Keep the great information about taking photos coming. Yes, she is a beautiful woman and makes a great model. The closeup crop to keep the focus on her really works.
Cheers, Rebecca
New Orleans, LA
Post #: 2
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