My first summative assignment for Computers in Photography is titled “Digital Portfolio” and requires me to edit six photographs using the Photoshop software.

As the assignment sheet shows, I am required to make suitable corrections to the images within Photoshop to two black and white prints, two colour prints and two digital images (RAW files preferably).

Digital Portfolio Assignment Sheet
Digital Portfolio Assignment Sheet rear

I was initially going to start the assignment by editing a black and white photo I got from my parents but then went to a VW show at the weekend before starting this and picked a RAW image I knew needed editing from there.

Click on any image for a larger version of it.

– First RAW Image –

The car show was held at Bruntingthorpe airfield inside and outside one of the hangers. It’s called Flat Four Hangout and is intended for air-cooled VW’s. The subject of this first edit is an old VW Beetle which was at the show.

VW Beetle

As can be seen from the image above, the first RAW image to edit has a few issues that need resolving.

  • Poptop of the VW T25 campervan parked behind looks like a roof spoiler on the Beetle and so needs removing from the image.
  • The image is too cold.
  • The sky is too over-exposed.
  • Colours need bringing up somewhat.

The main reason this image was chosen was because of the pop top roof issue created by the VW T25 camper parked behind the Beetle. This happens in many pictures taken at car shows when the vehicles are parked so closely together and so makes for an ideal candidate to be put into Photoshop.

Camera Raw Adjustments

When a RAW image is uploaded to Photoshop it first opens in the Camera Raw part of the software. This is the area where lighting, contrast, sharpness etc. can be adjusted within an image. A good reason to shoot in RAW is to get much more information in the image, as opposed to a JPEG, for example. The extra information contained within the image allows for more extensive editing.

The rectifications made to this image at this stage were:

Basic:

  • Up the temperature a little.
  • Exposure up by +5 to counter the dehaze, clarity and contrast adjustments.
  • Contrast up to +15.
  • Clarity up to +5.
  • Dehaze up to +15 to try and bring a bit more detail back into the clouds along with the contrast and clarity adjustments.
  • Vibrance up to +20 and Saturation tweaked to +7 as the image just looked cold and flat.
  • I lightened the shadows to +36 to try and reveal the front valance under the front bumper to show how low the car sits.

Detail:

  • The image could do with a bit of sharpening and so, because of this, it was sharpened from the base 40 up to 70.
  • The noise that had been created due to the sharpening needed reducing so the noise reduction was increased from 0 to 15.

HSL Adjustments:

  • The VW Beetle needed to be a little more vibrant, even after increasing the overall vibrancy, so the reds were increased to +40
  • The oranges were also increased very slightly to get more colour into the wheels. The oranges just got a +5 increase.

Effects and Lens Correction:

As can be seen from the images below, the whole image has been cropped to give it a better final composition. Some of the sky needed to be got rid of, as well as a little from the foreground and sides. The ‘Remove Chromatic Aberration’ and ‘ Enable Profile Correction’ boxes were ticked in order to help the image look a little sharper still by removing any unwanted vignette and slight aberration from around certain elements within the image.

The final thing to do at this stage was to add a subtle vignetting (that I could control) of -15 to put the focus a bit more onto the VW Beetle and also to help with the blown out sky a bit.

The result of all these edits (as a whole) in Camera Raw can be seen in the images above. Each image shows the different tabs.

In to Photoshop

Once the tweaking of the original image in Camera Raw was completed, I opened the it in Photoshop and set about removing the roof of the VW T25. The images below show the before and after results.

Original
VW Beetle after edit

The main reason for working on this image was to remove the poptop roof of the camper van parked behind and that has been achieved, as the two images above show.

 

The Process

First of all, a copy of the background layer was created by dragging the original background down into the ‘Create new layer’ tab at the bottom-right of the interface. This was done so as to not ruin the original layer so there would be a layer to go back to if all went wrong.

Then as much of the poptop roof needed to be got rid of as quickly as possible and so the content-aware fill tool was used. To do this, the lasso tool was selected, which is the third icon down on the left-hand side of the screen.

Final image in PS

With the lasso tool selected, the offending item was loosely drawn around.

Lassoed roof in photoshop

After this, via the menu at the top of the screen, Edit->Fill->OK was selected, making sure the ‘Content-away’ box was ticked.

The content-aware fill process did the best job it could and did indeed remove most of the roof. It obviously didn’t do the job completely as it’s picked some of the windscreen of the car to fill part of the area instead of completely filling it with the sky as would have been ideal.

Because the first attempt at this procedure hadn’t worked brilliantly, two further times to get rid of as much of the poptop roof as possible using the same process were used.

After the three uses of the content-aware tool, this is what was left:

This wasn’t bad but it obviously wasn’t finished either. The Patch tool (ninth icon down in the tools menu on the left-hand side of the screen) was used next to try to get a bit more of what the previous process had left behind. This didn’t work very well:

After deleting the patch tool attempt, the Clone Stamp Tool (12th icon down the left-hand menu) was used. After the third content-aware process had been done, the image was left with a bit of white sky around the aerial and a bit of the panel work to get rid of (as can be seen in the image above of the patch tool attempt image). The sample point was set to a part of the sky just above where the rectification needed to be done.

This got the rest of the sky to an acceptable standard. The zoom facility was used to get in close in order to pick out the pixels that would get close to the edge of the car roof and skyline. The image below shows how much zoom was required.

The sky around the aerial and roof of the car wasn’t coloured correctly after the work to remove the roof had been completed. It seemed to have a slightly harsh edge to it. The healing brush (eighth icon down, just above the patch tool icon on my interface image above) was selected and this gave a nicer finish than the clone stamp tool had.

The leaves in the foreground distracted from the main subject of the composition so the patch tool (ninth icon in the left-hand menu) was selected.

Patches of leaves were circled and the circle was moved to a nearby part of the floor which was clear of leaves etc. This new patch of ground (that the circle was now sitting on) replaced the area originally selected which removed the leaves. The images below show the before and after results.

This was a pretty quick and satisfying process as it yielded great results. The parking space white lines were lined up whilst removing leaves from those areas.

A4 Size Image

The final process for this image was to use the crop tool (fifth icon down on the left-hand side of my interface image) to make the image A4 horizontal in orientation.

Evaluation

Considering this is my first attempt at anything like this on my own within Photoshop (I’ve only ever used Lightroom to tweak my photos before) I think this image has turned out quite well.

Considering the weather was grey and horrible on the day, the colours and even the sky look ok now. The image might look a little ‘soft’ but that could be in part due to the wide aperture used meaning that only the front left corner of the car was sharp. I’d have to say that I’m really happy with the removal of the campervan’s poptop roof that made it look like the VW Beetle had a roof spoiler and I also like the clearer foreground now that the leaves have been removed.

– Second RAW Image –

On to the second of the two required RAW images for this assignment and it was time to turn to a little task we had been set in a previous lesson where we had to work with a class of graphic design students. They had an assignment that had them creating some form of a poster that would show the city of Leicester as a cultural city.

Once we’d been told what they had to achieve and once all the faffing around getting into groups had been resolved, I and the group I was in headed out to find some statues around the city centre. There are many statues erected around the city and we didn’t have time to get to them all in order to get the shots we needed. Because of this, and because the light wasn’t ideal for photographing at the time of day we went out, I decided to take it upon myself to go out again the following Saturday when I’d have more time and better light.

The image I’ve chosen to edit in Photoshop as my second of the two RAW files is one I took on that first trip out in the not ideal light. I’ve picked it as my cropped-sensor camera struggled in the bad lighting of late afternoon and, as a result, I had to up the ISO to a level that created noisy images. Another reason I chose it was because I had my shutter speed too slow (to also help get more light into the sensor) and so have motion blur. There are also three elements that I thought would be quite easy to remove from the image…how wrong I was!

RIII statue before edits

The image above shows the shot I chose for this part of my assignment. As can be seen, it is over-exposed, noisy, flat with elements in that I didn’t want. Overall, not a great image.

Camera Raw

Opening up Photoshop and putting the RAW file into it opened up the Camera Raw part of the software where the tweaks to things like exposure, contrast and colour etc. are done.

The first thing that was done to this image was the cropping and moving of the framing so that the statue is off to the left for a nicer composition. Whilst using the crop tool (5th icon down the toolbar on left-hand-side of the screen) the image was also straightened by putting the mouse cursor outside the crop box and moving the mouse downwards until the image looked right. The aim was to get the left-hand edge of the statue base to run parallel to the left-hand edge of the frame.

‘Basic’ Tab

The ‘Basic’ tab, which is found in the right-hand-side menu, is where the adjustments were made in an attempt to rectify the bad exposure. The changes made here were:

  • Temperature up from 5650 to 6500 as original looked too cold. The auto white balance hadn’t worked great here.
  • The ‘tint’ was increased from -3 to +5 as this helped to warm the image by starting to give the colours a little bit of life.
  • The obvious fault with the original is the fact that it is over-exposed. This was fixed by dropping the exposure down to -0.95.
  • Contrast upped to +20 as this helped the depth of the whole image. The original was a little flat so upping the contrast helped that, particularly with the red brick building behind the statue.
  • Because the contrast edit gave a slightly darker look to the image, lightening the shadows by upping the slider to +5 was required. This brought the statue and poster of Richard III back to where looked right. It would have been acceptable without this adjustment but the slight tweak worked well.
  • The highlights were adjusted quite a bit, down to -55, as the sky was still far too bright. Doing this took the edge off that brightness.
  • Clarity was put up to +15 to help with the sharpness and contrast.
  • Saturation also got a tweak of up to +30 as more colour in the shot was desired.

 

The image above shows the photograph after the ‘Basic’ tab stage had been completed.

‘Detail’ Tab

All that was done in the detail tab was to do a bit of Noise Reduction after all the other tweaks in the ‘Basic’ tab started to show the noise moreso than it already did. Reducing the shadowed areas particularly emphasizes the noise in an image. The noise reduction slider was increased from 0 to +10. It could have gone further but then the image would start looking soft.

‘Lens Correction’ Tab

The ‘Lens Correction’ and ‘Remove Chromatic Aberration’ boxes in this tab of the right-hand menu were ticked to help the image lose any unwanted vignetting and correct the image look as well as reduce any unwanted red around aspects of the image.

‘Effects’ Tab

A vignette of -15 (a dark effect) was added around the edges of this image as the focus was intended to be more on the statue of Richard III.

Adjustment Brush

The colour of the light under the canopy of the entrance to the Richard III visitor centre was a little harsh. It was too yellow as the temperature had been increased which brought the yellowness of the light shining on the statue just nicely. The statue needed to stay as it was but reduction of the strength of the lighting under the canopy needed to be reduced. This was done by selecting the adjustment brush from the top menu of the interface, brushing the area under the canopy before moving the slider for the temperature down to a point that looked good. This point was -40 as it cooled the yellowness to a degree that suits the image.

Once this was done the Camera Raw adjustments for the image were completed.

The Blurred Man

Yet again the first thing done was to make a ‘Background copy’ to work on so that no mess ups to the original image would occur.

Three elements of the image needed removing. The shutter speed was too slow when taking the image and as a result, there is a man walking into the image from behind the wall on the left-hand side who is unintentionally blurred. This was the first element to be removed.

The first step was to use the ‘Content-aware Fill’ tool once the element had been drawn around with the lasso tool (third icon down in left-hand menu).

The above process was done a further two times in order to get as much of the blurred man removed as possible before moving on to other tools.

Next, the ‘Spot Healing Brush’ tool was selected to clean up what the content-aware tool had done as it didn’t line things up very well.

After deleting the spot healing attempt, the ‘Clone Stamp’ tool was selected in order to line up the brickwork more accurately instead of fully relying on the software. This took a while to do, especially towards the bottom of the wall, but got the job done.

It was at this stage that the image was cropped to the A4 size required as it was near enough at that size anyway.

A new layer was created to do the crop on. The image below shows a closeup of the area after the blurred man had been removed and the brickwork lined up satisfactorily.

Street Sign Removal

The next thing to do was to remove the street sign that is intruding into the frame on the left. It would have been ok to leave it but it’s a bit of a distraction and better off removed.

Click on the images below for a larger version to see where the lasso tool was used.

After content-aware removal.

The ‘Clone Stamp’ tool was then used to line the brickwork of the wall back up.

Luckily, the brickwork of the wall is genuinely wobbly so it wasn’t necessary to have to get things dead straight for this bit.

Woman Removal

The final part of edits to do on this image was the removal of the lady looking to go into the Richard III visitor centre.

This started with the content-aware tool followed by tidying up with the clone stamp tool.

Click on images below for larger version.

After the use of the Content-aware tool started the long process of using the stamp tool to tidy up. This was a process of finding appropriate areas and lining them up with the areas in need of correction.

Evaluation

There were plenty of gaps left in the railings that needed rectifying and needed aligning correctly. I’m not 100% happy with the way the end of the railing looks as it appears to be a bit wider towards the bottom than it should be. Again, however, it looks fine when viewing the image as a whole and not zoomed in.

Once all of the above processes had been finished, it was clear to see the difference the editing had achieved. Again, click on the images for larger versions.

– First Black and White Image –

The third image for this assignment is going to be the first of the black and white ones. Two black and whites will be required to meet the brief and this one is a photograph of my mother-in-law when she was a lot younger.

I chose this image as it was one of the few I could find and requires repairing using the tools I’ve learned and can remember how to use.

I intend to repair the crease damage to various areas of it as well as cleaning up any and all marks on it. From what I can see before attempting the repair work, the tools I’ll be using are the Healing Brush and Clone Stamp.

The first thing needed to be done with this image is to straighten and centre it. This was done with the crop tool. By putting the mouse cursor outside of the crop box the icon changes to a double-headed arrow. By moving the arrow in one direction or the other will rotate the crop box in the corresponding direction. The lines within the crop tool help to get the image as straight as possible.

The image looks to be too far over to the left (as we look at it) after it had been rotated. This is easily fixed by grabbing the image (left-click and hold with the mouse) and moving it to where it looks best.

Now that the image sits correctly, it’s time to get on with cleaning it up and removing all the damage. The first thing needing to be done is the correcting of the white surround. This was achieved by using the clone stamp tool to target an area that was already white and filling in the black and damaged areas with it as it ‘clones’ the white areas.

The image above shows the process of cloning the white areas to complete the image surround.

Once the surround was completed it was time to start repairing the crease damage. The first area to be repaired was the lower-right area of the photograph.

The clone stamp tool was used in this area to pick a point of undamaged sweater and clone it over the crease damaged area. Any other flaking damage and dirt was removed in the same way. The results of which can be seen in the before and after images above. This was done on a new layer so as to not undo previous work should the cloning go wrong.

Yet another layer was created in order for the damage to the top third of the photograph to be repaired.

The clone stamp tool could have been used again to repair the damage to this portion of the photo but the healing brush tool was used instead.

Just like with the clone stamp tool, holding the ‘Alt’ key and left-clicking on an undamaged area of the photo before then moving the cursor to the damaged area and pressing and holding the left mouse button copies the pixels from the undamaged area onto the damaged area. Pixels as close to the damaged areas were selected in order to keep the image as original as possible.

The image below shows the results of the healing brush tool to the top 3rd of the photo.

Another layer was created for the removal of damage to the face area of the photo.

The image above doesn’t quite show the crease damage across the eyes as badly as it was. Even so, this would prove to be the area of the image that took the longest to repair. It was achieved with the use of the clone stamp and healing brush tools by, again, selecting areas as close to the damaged areas to clone or brush over the damage as accurately as possible with regards to colours and textures.

As can be seen in the image above, the difference between a damaged eye and a repaired eye is quite obvious. Parts of the repaired eye were used by the healing brush tool to repair the still damaged one.

The final part of the photograph that needed repairing was the lower-left corner which also had crease, flaking and dirt damage.

The damage wasn’t extensive but did need repairing. A good area of the sweater was selected with the healing brush tool and brushed over the crease.

Once all the damage was removed, it was time to correct the colour somewhat. Firstly, the brightness has to be addressed as it was too bright. This was done by clicking the Properties tab in the right hand menu. The Brightness/Contrast tool was selected meaning the sliders for both could be accessed and changed. The brightness was reduced to -29 and the contrast increased to 80. The image below shows the result.

The image still had a slight green tint to it so a Levels layer was created and the dropdown menu within the right-hand menu was used to select the green within the image. It only required a slight adjustment of -5 taking the greens down from 255 to 250.

Not much of a difference can be seen after the levels layer reducing of the greens, but it does help get the image back to where it should be.

A final adjustment to the image was the reducing of saturation by -20. This was also accessed via the properties tab in the right-hand menu.

As can be seen from the various images associated with the editing process, each of the final colour edits were done on their own layers. 

Below are the before and after images of the photograph. Click on either for a larger version.

Evaluation

Overall, the final image is much improved from the original. It could perhaps have done with a little less adjustment at the saturation stage as it is now properly black and white as opposed to having a hint of brown to it. The hair on the left side of the image has lost a bit of detail after the healing brush tool was used on it. It still looks ok but, when seen side by side, it’s clear to see. The contrast and brightness adjustments have added a little more depth back to the image, which is good.

– First Colour Image –

For the first of my two colour images, I intend to bring some of the colour back to an image of my grandma which has started to go red due to its age and repeated exposure to heat and light over the years. I intend to get rid of the apparent red film over the entire photograph followed by adding some depth back to it and also removing the damage on it using the clone stamp and/or the healing brush tools.

The image I’ll be working on starts out like this:

The Editing Process

The first thing done with this image was to duplicate the background layer by pressing the Control+J buttons on the PC (Command+J if on a Mac). This ensures that the original is always there and undamaged due to the editing process.

According to the assignment brief, the image is required to be of A4 size (297x210mm) when done. This is done at this stage, rather than later so that only the parts of the final image are worked on instead of wasting time on the surrounding areas that will not be seen. The image is also straightened whilst the Crop Tool is selected. This is done by clicking just outside the crop box and moving the mouse until the desired angle is achieved.

The area within the crop box is the area of the image that will make up the final photograph. By simply clicking and holding the left mouse button you can drag the image into a position so that you have whichever part of the image you feel makes up the best composition within the box. Once you have got the image where you want it, just let go of the left mouse button and you’re done. Now you can press ‘Enter’ and the crop/straighten will be applied.

If you look to the top-left of the image above you can see the boxes for W x H x Resolution. This is where you create the size of the crop box. In this example, the dimensions are 297x420mm with a resolution of 300ppi (pixels per inch) as they are the desired settings for this assignment. The crop box you see overlaying the photo resizes itself as you type the dimensions into the boxes above.

Removing the Red

The main purpose for repairing this image is the red colour that has appeared over the whole photograph. This has happened due to its age and will continue to get worse as time goes on.

Within the Curves Tool work area there is a drop-down box that has “RGB” in it. This is selected to reveal the Red, Green and Blue options for adjusting those elements of the image as desired. For this image, the red was selected and the curve within the window adjusted until the red disappeared and the image started to look correct again. To adjust the curve you simply left-click and hold on the desired area of the line which runs from bottom-left to top-right of the box and move it up or down. As the line is moved, the image will change to show what effect the curve line adjustments are having.

The image now needs to have the greenness toned down. To do this, simply click the drop-down box again but this time select ‘green’. The same process as was used with the red is used again here.

The image is looking much better now and could be left as is. Having said that, though, it could still do with having the highlights reduced as well as having the slight damage repaired.

Burn Tool

The image could be put back into Camera Raw to have the highlights reduced but the Burn Tool was used instead in an attempt to speed up the process.

The Burn Tool was only used to darken the areas illustrated in the image above slightly. Even so, some areas became a little too ‘burnt’ and, therefore, looked a little orange/brown. To rectify this, as quickly as possible, the Dodge Tool was used to undo what the Burn Tool had done. Whereas the Burn Tool darkens an area you brush over, the Dodge Tool lightens it. The Burn Tool had managed to exaggerate the red colour running down the arm and face where it goes from exposed to shadowed. This is where the Dodge Tool came in useful as a means of ‘calming’ that down. 

Whilst using the Burn Tool, the settings selected (from the menu at the top) where Range: ‘Midtones’ with an Exposure of 25%. This meant that the midtones within the areas of the image being edited were adjusted (as opposed to the shadows and highlights) and only slightly (the 25% exposure dictated this). To counter the over-burned areas, a Dodge Tool exposure of just 14% was used. This was selected from the same top menu as the Burn Tool settings.

Healing Brush

The final edits needing to be done to this image could all be done with the Spot Healing Brush Tool. This tool takes pixels from around the area you’ve ‘brushed’ and adds then to the brushed area. Because of this, it’s best to use the Spot Healing Brush on larger areas where the picture is pretty much the same; a sky, field or shrubbery, for example. In this image, the areas needing attention were; the red and the green lines running vertically down the left-hand side of the image as well as the specks of white and the od spot of what looks like watermarks.

Once all of the above images were done, the image was completed. Below are the original and the finished versions for comparison.

Evaluation

The image is still a little blurred but, at this stage, there’s nothing I can do about that apart from blaming the person taking the photograph (my grandad, I assume). When I see the two versions side-by-side, I’m pleased with how it’s turned out. I was pleased with how well the Spot Healing Brush got rid of the green and red lines running vertically down the left of the image, as well as all the other crease/flaking damage as it saved me quite some time. I thought I would have to use the Clone Stamp Tool and spend time picking the best parts of the image to use as clone points but, instead, the Spot Healing Brush did that for me.

Overall, I feel the image editing has worked well even though I would have liked to have reduced the highlights on the face, arms and legs a little more. I didn’t, however, want to use the Burn Tool more than I had as it didn’t look natural enough, in my opinion.

– 2nd Black and White Image –

The second black and white image I’ve chosen to repair is that of my great grandad, on my mum’s side, who was a Sergeant during the First World War. The image is of him and other Sergeants posing for a photo at what would appear to be some kind of training camp.

The challenge for me with this photograph is the missing left leg of the chap sitting on the right of the image (as we look at it). Whilst the image has been stored away over the years, something has stuck to it and pulled some of the photograph away with it as I tried to remove it. My intention is to use his other leg as a kind of donor which I’ll flip and position over the area of missing leg. I’ll also tidy the rest of the image up using the Spot Healing Brush and Clone Stamp Tools.

I’d also like to try colouring the image but time is running out for this assignment and, with one other image still to do and my limited abilities within Photoshop, I might not have time to do that.

Repairing the Image

As with the other images in this assignment, the first thing done on this one was to duplicate the background to ensure the original scan of the photograph is still available should all go wrong at some stage. This was done by pressing the ‘control’ and ‘J’ keys together (ctrl+J).

Cropping

The next thing to be done is to crop the image to A4, as per the assignment brief. This was done at this point to ensure only the area that would be in the final image was worked on instead of wasting time on areas of it which wouldn’t be seen.

This image didn’t need straightening, but if it had a simple left-click and hold of the mouse button would allow for the image to be moved as required by moving the mouse.

As the image shows, the input boxes towards the top of the interface allow for the desired image dimensions to be added. The grid box overlaying the photograph shows the size you’ll get and have to fit your image content in to. In this case, the image grid box is showing 297x210mm, which is A4 in size.

A left-click and hold of the mouse allows the dragging of the image to a position within the grid box that gets what is wanted into the new composition of the image.

Spot Healing Tool

Once the image is sized as desired, the repair work can commence. The first thing done to this image is the use of the Spot Healing Tool to remove as much of the general damage as possible.

The Spot Healing tool works very well on the larger areas of similar pixels but not so well on the more intricate areas with more details. This image was repaired very well by the Spot Healing tool to areas such as the sky, grass, tents and larger flat areas of the uniforms. The flecks of damage and creases all over the image were repaired using this tool making it look much better with minimal effort.

The Spot Healing Brush repair work was done on the duplicated background as a new layer would have no information on it for the brush to work. Another duplicate background could/should have been created for all this work that was done at this stage.

Clone Stamp Tool

As mentioned above, the Spot Healing tool could only do so much (see images above for before and after of Spot Healing Brush) and so the Clone Stamp tool was employed to give more control over which pixels would be used to repair the more intricate parts of the image.

To use the Clone Stamp tool you press and hold the Alt key followed by clicking the left mouse button on the area of the image you want to take pixels from to repair damage in another part of the image. Once the area is selected, press and hold the left mouse button over the area you’re repairing. A cross appears at the point you selected to take pixels from and it will mirror your movements on the mouse whilst left-clicking. Where the cross is will be where Photoshop is taking pixels from to put in the damaged area your mouse cursor is in. Every-so-often the Alt+left-click process has to be re-done to ensure the correct pixels are being copied to the damaged area.

As can be seen from the image above, the burly sergeant’s knee was repaired, as was the washing line in the background which had a piece missing after the Spot Healing tool had removed the arrow which was pointing to one of the sergeants.

The main damaged area (where the lower leg was missing) was cloned to have a grass finish to allow for the new leg to be positioned more accurately and not have to worry about trying to cover up damage that was still there. This way gives a cleaner canvas to work on whilst positioning the leg.

The Clone Stamp was also used to go round the image and clean up any flecks of damage the Spot Healing tool couldn’t cope with as desired.

Leg Swap

To get the non-damaged right leg onto the area where the left leg should be was done by:

  • Create new Layer in the lower-right portion on the interface menu
  • Drawing around the right leg with the Lasso tool
  • Menu at the top of the interface; Edit -> Transform -> Flip Horizontal
  • Use the Move tool to drag the newly flipped (horizontally) leg over to where it needs to be (left-click and hold on the mouse to ‘drag’ selected area)
  • Whilst still in the Move tool, click outside the box (as is done with the Crop tool to straighten the image) and left-click and hold to get the selected area (leg, in this instance) to the desired angle
  • Select the Eraser tool to remove sharp edges of the selected area created by the Lasso tool – this rubs through to the layer underneath where the cloned grass is. A Hardness of just 5% was used in this instance to subtly blend the layers

Once the leg was swapped and in position, the Clone Stamp tool was used again, this time to make the socks on each leg look a little different. To do this, different sections of the sock on the right leg were cloned onto the left leg. For example, a section from the top of the right leg would be cloned onto a lower section of the left leg etc.

Once the leg was in place it was apparent that the chair leg was going to have to be replaced. To do this, the Clone Stamp was used to clone the part of the leg that remained and drag it up to create the rest of the leg that was missing. The Clone Stamp tool cross was placed on the leg that was there and cloned slowly upwards in the direction the leg would have taken to create a complete new leg. This caused the chair leg to stick out slightly where it met his knee. To rectify this, the Eraser tool was used again, lightly, to remove the chair leg in that area until it looked correct. The grass in the layer underneath now comes through.

The strengthening support that runs between the two front legs of the chair also needed replacing as the damage had removed it from the image. This was done by using the Clone Stamp tool on the small part of the strengthening support that remained on the opposite side of the chair to where the damage had been.

Using that part of the chair to take pixels from in order to rebuild the rest of the strengthening support allowed me to get the large nail heads in the right positions as one was, luckily, still visible on the area used.

Before and After Images for Comparison

 Click on the images for a larger version.

Evaluation

I feel that this image has turned out well and is actually better than I thought I’d be able to do. I would have liked to have attempted colouring it also but time just got away from me as the deadline approached and I still had one more image to edit.

I still need to learn to utilise layers more as I don’t think I’m using enough and am, perhaps, doing too much work on too few layers. It was layers that stumped me with the rebuilding of the chair strengthening support that runs between the two front legs of the chair under the damaged area of the photograph. I initially created a new layer in the hope that I could do the Lasso->Transform->Flip Horizontal process on the chair from the other side of the image and then use the Eraser tool to rub through to the layer below to get rid of parts of the lassoed section that I didn’t need. I couldn’t figure out where to position that layer in order to have it sit on top allowing for the rubbing through. This is why I ended up spending too long with the Clone Stamp tool sampling the tiny section of the chair support that was still there.

Now that I look at the image, I can’t help but think the leg that was replaced looks a little small and his foot might be at the wrong angle. It’s not an impossible angle (I’ve tried it) and I’m not sure anyone else looking at the image will see this. I was pleased that I thought about using the Clone Stamp tool to make the socks and shoes on each leg look a little different as, even though it is flipped around, the new leg would have looked too similar.

– Second Colour Image –

The final image I’ve chosen to do for this assignment is the second of the scanned colour photos. This photo has been chosen more for the fact that it’s the only other damaged colour one I could find rather than it being perfect for the assignment. I would have liked to have been able to choose something a little different as the issue with this photo is the same as the one above that I have edited. The issue with this image is the fact that it is losing it’s colour and is turning red.

The image is of me, my sister and mum on the drive of the house we lived in when we were in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

I intend to get rid of the red layer that seems to be taking over the image, as well as attempting to correct the over-exposure issue of the original. I then need to clean up the image as it has quite a bit of dirt in the ‘pores’ of the photograph that have come across during the scanning process.

The Process

As usual, the first thing I did was to create a background copy layer. This can be done by dragging the original background layer down into the correct tab and the bottom of the layers window, or by pressing ‘Ctrl+J’.

 As with the other processes in this assignment, click on the following images for a larger version.

The assignment brief asks for A4 images to be submitted so at this point the cropping was done. A4 for this image is 210x297mm, which were entered into the dimensions boxes at the top of the screen. This gives a box of the correct size which the image can be moved around in to get the desired composition. This meant that only the areas of the image that would be submitted were actually worked on.

The main thing that needs fixing with this image is the red damage that is now covering it. To do this, the ‘Curves tool’ will be used to reduce the amount of red in the image.

The image above shows where to go in order to get to and select the red curve. When the curve tool is selected from the ‘Adjustments’ menu, a new layer is created by Photoshop automatically. To reduce the amount of red in the image, simply left-click and hold the mouse button on the red line in the graph and drag the line downwards until the image starts looking as it should. If you click on the line towards the right you will reduce the reds within the highlights, if you click and drag the line towards the left you will reduce the reds in the shadows and if you do so in the middle you will reduce the reds more within the grey, or mid-tone, areas of the image.

It is possible to click on the line where ever you like and as many times as you like but, as can be seen in the image above, this one was just clicked and dragged once in the middle of it. This created a downward loop within the line which worked as expected. As happened with the earlier colour image, the image, at this stage, looks too green. To fix this, simply go through the same procedure of selecting ‘Green’ from the drop-down menu just above the graph window.

This image required just a slight correction of the green tone in order to get it looking correct. The green line was dragged just a little downwards to achieve this.

The image is still looking too bright as it appears it was over-exposed due to the bright sunlight of the day it was taken. To correct this as best as possible, it’s back to the ‘Adjustments’ tab in the same section of the interface as the curves tool was found.

Once in the exposure tool, all this image needed was a slight tweak of the Gamma Correction in order to calm the brightness down a little. The slider was moved from 1.00 to 0.80.

The roof of the house, behind the subjects, was still too bright, so the Burn tool was employed to darken just that area.

The Burn tool was done on the ‘Background copy’ layer as it wouldn’t work on a new layer of its own. The slated area and window with purple curtains were darkened but the white area of the image would appear to have been too over-exposed for the burn tool to have any effect. A brush size of 175px was used with a hardness of just 15% to keep the feathering of the burning subtle without a hard edge to it.

A look at the images above will show that the top-left and lower-left corners of the image are missing. This is due to the fact that the original image had been cut into a shape with rounded corners.

To rectify the corner problems, a new layer was created for each one before the Healing Brush tool was used to grab pixels from around the missing areas of the image to rebuild and complete the photograph. This worked well and filled most of the areas in, but it did seem to have issues with filling in the areas right up to the edges.

To finish off the edges correctly, the Healing Brush tool was substituted for the Clone Stamp tool. This would allow more control of where the pixels were being picked from and where they were being placed. This is because we, as users, select the anchor point of where the pixels will start being taken from and where to place them exactly. The anchor point moves in the same direction as the mouse (when the left button is clicked and held) and therefore mirrors your movements. If the anchor point hits an area you don’t want to take pixels from, replace it by releasing the left mouse button and single clicking where you want to start the anchor point from again.

This was done to fill in the missing roof tiles and bike tyre in both the top-left and bottom-left areas of the image.

Both of the repair jobs to the roof and bike tyre were done on their own layers.

At this stage of the process, it was time to step back and see what the image looked like. The main subjects of the image still looked over-exposed so to try to correct this some more, the Burn tool was used again. This time it was used on the people in the image.

It’s only a subtle change to the exposure on the human subjects within the image, but it’s one that helps it. Some of the areas, such as the woman’s neck, were too over-exposed meaning that the burn tool didn’t have much of an effect. This, again, could be because there isn’t any information there for Photoshop to work with.

Whilst working on all the other aspects of this image, it was noticed that there was a lot of dirt and fleck damage to it. The photograph paper had ‘pores’ in it and this is where the dirt was sitting and came through during the scanning process. To remove this dirt and white fleck damage, the Spot Healing Brush tool was used.

The Spot Healing Brush tool was perfect for this part of the repair process. To use it, click on the button in the menu to the left of the screen (this can be seen in the image above as the depressed button on both interfaces) then select the brush size and edge hardness from the drop-down menu button to the left of the ‘Mode’ box in the top menu. Then it’s a case of brushing over the damaged area (left-click and hold on the mouse as you move it) and letting Photoshop repair the damage by selecting pixels from around it. This works well but sometimes zooming in to the area and/or selecting a slightly smaller brush helps the software to better pick pixels from the surrounding area. If the brush is too big and there is a lot of damage in that area, it will just replace damaged pixels with damaged pixels.

At this stage, the image is pretty much completed. A quick visit back to the curves tool (as described above) to reduce the amount of red in the image a little more was done as it was still not quite right. Once that was done, the image was repaired!

Evaluation

I feel that this photograph has come out looking good even though the roof of the house would appear to have been far too over-exposed for my Photoshop skills to deal with and get to looking as I would have liked. It would appear that there just isn’t any information in the file for the software to bring back.

Overall, though, I’m happy with how it now looks with its red film removed and much more depth to it than the original had.

– Assignment Evaluation –

I’ve learned a lot from doing this assignment as, before I started the course at Leicester College, I’d never even opened Photoshop, nor had I used PowerPoint to create slides to aid in explaining what I was talking about. I’ve also never written such a long essay/report nor had I written something in a way that might guide someone in their pursuit of learning something. Because of all that, I’m very happy with this piece of work I’ve created. Having said that, I feel that I could have done a better job of the presentation of the work as I feel I was kind of making it up as I went along. This probably shows in the presentation style of the assignment but, like I said, I’d never used Photoshop before and felt like I’d struggled with it in class so had to learn more, away from college, just to get done what I have.

I would have liked to have done a few different things such as re-colouring sections of images, but I wasn’t confident enough with the process and time was getting away from me as the assignment deadline approached.

All-in-all, I feel like this assignment went ok but it did take an awfully long time to get to the end of due to the process of note-taking, screen-grabbing, PowerPoint-making, image compressing for use on this website and writing up of, etc.