Monday, January 19, 2009

Photography & Retouching Help

I was going bonkers yesterday trying to photograph my Jefferson Memorial painting for DSFDF. The outside shots washed out my highlights completely and my indoor shots were speckled with tiny bits of glare from the lighting.

Putting my painting in my homemade light diffuser helped somewhat but I still had glare speckles. I found a nice way to save those speckled photos tho. Here's how I did it in photoshop:

Under FILTER go to NOISE > DUST AND SCRATCHES. By setting the Radius at 1 or 2 and the Threshold between 15 and 25 I was able to make the speckles disappear. Be sure to zoom in and make sure you aren't losing any brush detail tho. The number I used may be different for different resolution photos also.

Some tips on adjusting photos:

After cropping my painting in photoshop I start with the overall values. The first step is checking the levels:


I usually move the black arrow in to the right just to the point where histogram levels start to climb, I do this with the white arrow on the right side also. This cleans up any haziness and gives you nicer contrast. Then on the midrange arrow I try to match the values of my actual painting moving it to the right or left:

Next I work on color. I mostly use this tool to make color adjustments:

If the colors in your photo just don't seem to match the intensity of your actual painting try using this:
Try boosting the saturation a bit to match your painting.

There are probably 10 different way to achieve the same results in Photoshop, so here's my method to add to the pile!


  1. Having just got the Adobe program for Christmas, I REALLY appreciate the advice. Thank you!

  2. Me , too I 'm still struggling not knowing how to bring my pictures from iphoto to bridge & photoshop and such.
    By the way Welcome to DSFDF . You are talented like your mom, can't wait to read more about you. Thanks for the above info

  3. Wow! Thank you so much for these tips! Your artwork is lovely!