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How to fix blown out white areas

Roger K , Jun 12, 2004; 01:00 a.m.

Attached is a picture. On the refigrator, i have white blown out areas. How would i fix this in Photoshop or another program?

Please help, because sometimes I run into this problem when I shoot portraits and the background is really bright .. I know I can use an ND filter, but what could I do in post?

Here's the link:

(link)

Responses

Chris Leck , Jun 12, 2004; 01:55 a.m.

You could try patching the areas with the patch tool, touching-up with the healing tool. There's a more sophisticated technique using custom patterns made with Photoshop's Pattern Maker (see Martin Evening's book, the chapter on repairing images).

If areas are partly blown, try copying to another layer and experiment with multiply blend mode to build density. Michael Kieran discusses this in his color correction book.

Another thing you might try is not blowing out the areas. Expose for the highlights. Take test shots and use the highlights display function if your camera has one. When areas are blown, they're gone and it's less graceful even than slide film. Of course, blown areas are not always bad, e.g., blown specular highlights or white portrait backgrounds. I've been obsessive about not blowing highlights at times and ended up with mostly underexposed images (which require extra work and may exhibit banding if not fixed carefully).

One last thing you might try is the contrast setting, if your camera has one. I set this to lower contrast on my D100 when I am shooting very contrasty subjects, such as stage performances or dance. It gives me more leeway to allocate the existing contrast later, via curves.

Bert Armijo , Jun 12, 2004; 02:29 a.m.

I tend to prefer using layers to repair blown out highlights of this sort. I find a section that has the same color/texture select that with a feather of 5 to 10 and copy that to a new layer. I then duplicate the new layer several times and move the new image section each time to adjoin the previous sections until I've built up a large enough piece to cover the blown out highlight plus some surrounding area. Merge all the pieces into one layer and position the new layer over the blown out highlight. Duplicate the new layer and blur the second layer significantly so there's no visible detail left and set the mode to multiply. Now adjust the opacity and fill of each of the new layers. Keep the values small, probably 10 to 20% opacity and fill, because you only want to put a tiny bit of color and detail in the highlight rather than get rid of it.

Best of luck, Bert

Rodolfo Negrete , Jun 12, 2004; 03:27 a.m.

what has work for me the best is duplicating the background then highlighting the copy .hide the original -get levels and use the drops to correctly expose for the highlights -then attach a mask to this copy- then make the oher layer visible with the other one still highlighted select the brush and brush of the parts you don't want . that way you keep both from both worlds .

PS I speak very little english so forgive my spelling and composition

Mathilde muPe , Jun 12, 2004; 06:30 a.m.

Mixing a dark and lighter layer is one way. The other way is to create an adjusment layer "selective color" and only set white colors to darken. Next you can patch the mask of that layer to reveal whites that should be lighter (in some cases recreate some depth in white mass).

Steven Muller , Jun 12, 2004; 03:00 p.m.

burn and dodge, clone, healing brush, sponge tool, done


Attachment: 2436965-md.jpg

Ronald Moravec , Jun 12, 2004; 03:22 p.m.

There are many good books on ps and ps elements. I am new and currently with a Sybolt book with an interactive cd. It leads you by the hand step by step. I don`t think you will learn everything just experimenting with the program especially if you have had little darkroom experience in color.

To get full advantage, you need a book or a good teacher.

Roger K , Jun 12, 2004; 03:25 p.m.

I guess there's alot of ways to do it, I will practice. Steven, nice job on your try. I couldn't get the result you were getting. I'll try it in your order. I will also read up on how to use PS layers.

Thanks guys

John Falkenstine , Jun 13, 2004; 04:19 p.m.

Don't use the maglite to overexpose...THAT solves the real problem. The camera has already metered the scene and throwing the bright maglite in there AFTER the shutter has locked in the exposure will just not work..And don't shoot into an overly bright background. Even film's latitude can't make up all the way for such an exposure. A good way to check even with the digital is to meter/get a reading off your subject, get a reading off the bright background, then meter in between to see if the camera is going to correctly expose the dark subjects in the foreground. If not, some fill flash might be needed. If this doesn't give the desired results, change the background...

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