Once again it is Friday and time to re-edit a picture. In the previous weeks I have been re-editing HDR images that have gone array. This week I thought I would look at an old image.
When I got into photography I found a load of my parent’s slides taken when they were dating. I scanned these images and have had a digital copy of them ever since. The great thing with a digital image is you can go back time over time with Non-destructive editing. The picture I have chosen is of my mother, I am presuming it was taken by my father. The car was my dad’s and I pet named it NAF.
The original image had many problems that are associated with old film images. The colour temperature of the image is so cold it looks like it was taken at the break of dawn. The car is nicely in focus but my mother is just on the edge of the depth of field. The lens has created a slight dark vignette on the corners and is marginally under exposed.
In Camera Raw the first thing I did was correct the colour temperature. In cropped the image to take of the film edges and then zoomed it to look for dust and scratches. Luckily there were not too many but I did see the grain of the image and slight digital noise from the scanner. I corrected the exposure, raising it by half a stop and then set the black and white points of the image. I lighted the shadows and darkened the highlights before adding a small amount of clarity and contrast. I then raised the vibrancy of the image.
I zoomed in at 100% to tackle the noise first by adjusting the colour noise suppression and then the luminance noise. I also added a small amount of capture sharpening. When I was looking at the image close up I could see a magenta colour fringe on the edges of the car. I defringed the car and slightly corrected lens defects but left the vignette in the corners.
The image was then imported to Photoshop.
In Photoshop I looked at a few areas first.
I could see that even after the colour temperature being corrected the image still had some colour casts. There was a magenta cast across the image that needed to be neutralized, I also could see some warming in the image that I wanted to cool as well as some cooling that i wanted to warm.
First i opened a colour balance adjustment layer and did a general adjustment. I went through the adjustment layer first adjusting the midtones then the shadows and finally the highlights. The adjustments were minor as this adjustment layer is quite sensitive. I then looked at different areas of the image. Specifically the back window of the car and the walls of the buildings.
The car window was still had a strong magenta tone even after the colour balance so i created another adjustment layer and corrected it. Once it was corrected i lowered the opacity to make sure it blended with the image and my adjustment wasn’t too strong and painted the adjustment into the image using a mask. I then repeated these steps with other areas of the image.
Finally i added a small amount of contrast and then sharpened the image.
The final outcome of the image is quite remarkable from the original. Rescuing the image as well as a memory for my parents is another side of photography that I like. The image is still true to the colours and tone of the time and defiantly feels like real photograph not a faux filter.