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Having seen David Lawson's recent photograph in another part of the board, I very presumptuously thought I would offer a quick and dirty demonstration of some simple enhancements that can be made, very easily, to brighten up pics using Microsoft''s Photo Editor (or any other).
I hope you don't mind David.


David's Original



Autobalance using Microsoft Photo Editor

Photo Editor's Autobalance is as quick and easy as it comes, and sometimes does a good job but tends to exaggerate the contrast without doing anything at all for the mid-tones. It has left the wheel areas still rather dark and indistict

Manual Balance using Microsoft Photo Editor

Here, I manually raised the Gamma Level by a coupe of notches to either 1.33 or 1.47 (can't remember exactly now!) and then increased contrast a little as well. Autobalance never touches the Gamma/Midtones yet raising it by two to three notches is the best method I know of swiftly bringing a 'murky' picture to life.
Now we can see the wheels much better.
I realise I may not have the colour of the car exactly right as unfortunately I don't have the original to hand!

I could do a better job of detail work using Adobe Photo Shop, but that takes quite a while, where this took less than a minute per picture.
I hope it encourages people to experiment a little.
 

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The responses are interesting in being quite at variance with each other.
This isn't surprising, given that we all have very different views on what we like to see and what we think it represents.

For instance a picture with a really large amount of digital 'noise' or photographic 'grain' could easily trigger comments ranging from,
"That is absolutely APPALLING! "
to
"Incredibly realistic and gritty photo-journalistic representation! "
or similarly opposed opinions.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as always and I often equate photographic 'profundities' with the somewhat exaggerated opinions expressed by some petentious wine buffs.


Having said all that, my 'quick and dirty' wasn't directed towards photographic connoisseurs (I wouldn't DARE!), but specifically to draw the attention of newcomers to a particularly easy way in which one very simple manual alteration can be made, OUTSIDE of the usual 'Quick fix', which sometimes produces unexpected, unwanted or even distinctly worse results than the original because it rarely, if ever, adjusts the gamma or mid tones.
Whoo - that was a long sentence - very bad form!


Quick and dirty summary: Gamma is good!
 

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That's a nice piece of work, David.

A sideways reference to another topic that becomes quite 'hot' at times - interesting to see the colour of the track and then compare it with the colour of the tyres and then with the colour of the car itself.
Anyone still saying that track should be BLACK?


Re scratch removal - I have no direct experience, but I am told that Nikon film scanners come with good automatic scratch removing software. I can't think how software can differentiate between a scratch and real markings, but that's what 'they' say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Only two hours - you are a fast worker!
Would have taken me days . . .

But what tools(s) did you use, Nuro?
Clone, probably, 'healing brush' maybe, but anything else?
Good result by the way!
 
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