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Old December 18th, 2006, 08:46 AM
StarDust63 StarDust63 is offline
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Removing Face Shadows

Wow, what a neat looking place.

Where to start? So many knowledgeable people here. So many things to learn.

Let me start with a short intro:

I've been a pretty simplistic user of PSE for 2-3 years. Currently I'm at PSE3 and have been doing mostly photo touch-ups. Little use of layers and masks to this point, but I’m determined to change that. I'd like to move up the curve a little and take better advantage of the capabilities of PSE.

My current problem:

I was asked if I could remove some face shadows from a snapshot that was taken in late-day sunshine. The current state of the picture can be seen at http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pi...rzMQsvHkDD1WZ1

At this point I've used Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Highlights/Shadows which helped some, but I'd like to do more.

I tried using the Dodge Tool, but didn't like the results as it was difficult to apply uniform and consistent lightening.

Next, I tried various methods of selecting only the shadowed portions of the faces before using Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Levels. None have worked very well as the level adjusted areas of the faces end up appearing to be a different color and the dividing lines are usually pretty obvious.

I'm asking for suggestions on approaches to use. This is not the first shadows problem I’ve seen and likely won’t be the last. So far, I’ve not found very good solutions (short of the snapshooters composing better pictures <g>).

Thanks,

StarDust63 (Novice Newbie)
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  #2  
Old December 18th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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Hatter Hatter is offline
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Try adding a new layer - set the mode to "overlay" and tick the box that says 'fill with overlay-neutral colour'. The layer will have no effect on the image. You can now paint on this layer - if you paint in a colour lighter than medium grey (eg white), you'll lighten the image where you've painted. Painting in a darker colour darkens the image.
You can lessen the effect by painting in a light grey rather than white and you can also reduce the opacity of the layer. This gives you a lot of control over how much lightening you apply - much better than the Dodge tool. It's also non-destructive (unlike dodging) as the original image stays untouched on the bottom layer. You can correct mistakes by overpainting in medium grey.

Gareth

A very quick & rough attempt:
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Old December 18th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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Juergen D Juergen D is offline
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Hi,

Some shadows should remain, but they surely can be lightened. I usually go with the Screen mode.
In this case, I duplicated the Background layer twice, and set both new layers to Screen. Then merge those two Screen layers. Next I added a layer mask and made it hide all, by typing Ctrl-I on the mask. Painting with a soft white brush at 50%, I lightened the shadowed areas of the faces, then changed the opacity of the screen layer a bit down (75%).
Only the chin area of the gentleman with the Treasure Island shirt needed a little adjustment for witch I used the Dodge tool. I also painted it lightly with a color sampled from the sunlit part of his face. I probably should have added some more contrast there.



Juergen
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Old December 18th, 2006, 10:26 AM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Hi there

As you know there is always more than one way to do anything in Elements. This is another case. While I was working on your picture Juergen posted his usual great work. Although I can’t improve on his work I can tell you another way to get a comparable result.

First…. To me anyway the picture has a little too much magenta in the faces. Could just be my monitor but anyway I reduced the magenta a little with a hue/saturation layer.

Second…. I picked the gentleman in the blue shirt and made a feathered selection of the darkest shadow on his face. Not all the shadow just the darkest area. With this selection active I opened a levels adjustment layer and set its blend mode to Luminosity. The Luminosity setting will lessen color shifting when changing brightness. I adjusted the center slider slowly until the center of my selection had the brightness I wanted.
Now I picked a soft white brush…. Lowered its opacity to around 20 percent…clicked on the levels mask to make it active… and painted over shadow areas in the picture where needed. The lower opacity of the brush lets you build the lighting slowly with multible strokes. Here and there I opened a blank layer and used the healing or clone brush to blend edges of they did not match. This allows you to lighten shadows without blowing highlights. If desired you could use this technique in reverse to darken some of the harsh highlights.

Third… If you notice the facial features of the man in the blue shirt and the left arm of the girl on the picture right, I used a clone tool with a 30 percent opacity set to lighten or darken and I softened the sharp shadow transitions. I did not do the whole picture and you may not want to but it is an option to further refine the image.

Hope this helps
Butch

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Old December 18th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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Hi Gareth

I did not see your post.... good job and another good technique.

Butch
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Old December 18th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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Although I always try to compose photos without these shadows, but often it doesn't happen. I have definitely learned some new methods of dealing with shadows and faces from Gareth, Juergen, and Butch--thanks to each of you for sharing your expertise!

Now I'll print these techniques for future reference!
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Old December 18th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Gareth, Juergen and Butch: Saw this thread and have to say thanks. I'll printing also for future reference. I have quite a few pictures with faces that are shadowed. I'm definitely going to give each technique a try.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 04:55 PM
StarDust63 StarDust63 is offline
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Gareth, Juergen and Butch,

Thank you, thank you and thank you.

Great suggestions that I'll be trying and using and filing away for further and future use. I can't imagine that I would ever have come up with those techniques on my own.

Thanks again,
SD63
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Old December 18th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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TonyW TonyW is offline
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Butch: Was just watching this week's Photoshop TV and there's a tutorial on fixing highlights on faces - tried it on this image and then realised that it's one of the techniques you already suggested (using the clone stamp, soft brush, low opacity, darken mode for highlights, lighten mode for shadows and sampling from a good patch of skin. Is an excellent technique. Great suggestion. I had to give it a quick try - before and after:

shadows_highlights.jpg

Tony
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Old December 18th, 2006, 07:51 PM
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Wow Tony, great job. I need to practice on this one.
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