Monday, February 28, 2005

Photoshop: Darkening the Photo

Question: I recently took a picture at a wrestling event. I seem to have captured many other flashes. Is there a good way to darken out the flashes?

Answer: You can do some curve adjustments, and duplicate the layer and make the new one a blend mode of Multiply.

I tried adjusting that image, but the result was only marginal. There is too much detail lost, however I'm sure you have a higher resolution image, so you result may be a little better. If you want to put the high-res image in the files section, I could try it with that one.

Note: This is one of the advantages of shooting RAW. You would have a much better chance of recovering this image, if it was in RAW mode.

You might try a technique known as contrast masking. It is quite simple and goes as follows:

1. Duplicate the background layer. Rename it contrast mask.
2. Select the duplicated (contrast mask) layer and
3. Image > Adjust > Desaturate then Image > Adjust > Invert.
4. Double click on the contrast mask layer and in the dialog box select Overlay as the Mode. Click OK
5. Apply a 4-6 pixel Gaussian blur to the mask (Filter > Blur > Gaussian)

That's it. I tried it on the image in your folder and it seemed to improve it somewhat, but it was so pixillated it was hard to be sure.

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