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Re: Creating a contrast mask

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avatar Creating a contrast mask
December 08, 2010 05:46PM
Shooting in Yosemite often involves shade and sun in the same photo. The contrast is hard to handle and results in a poor photo. Here's an photo I took with soon after I bought my first digital camera:



Note how detail in the head is lost to the shadow. But we can't just lighten the photo since that will make the highlights even more blown out. One thing we can do to save this photograph is to employ a contrast mask. Here's how (using Gimp:

Step one: after loading the photo into Gimp select Duplicate Layer from the layer menu.

Step two: select desaturate from the Colors menu. This will turn the new layer into black and white:



Step three: select Invert from the Colors menu. You will now have a black and white negative.



Step four: now comes the magic. Bring up the Layers toolbox by typing ctrl-L. You wil see that the current layer mode is Normal. Using the drop down box change the mode to Overlay and note how the image contrast has been reduced:



Step five: the image contrast has been reduce but still lacks sharpness. Find Gausian Blur under the Filters menu (often in the Blurs submenu) and apply a blur value of 20. This will sharpen the image in a manner similar to the unsharp mask:

avatar Re: Creating a contrast mask
December 08, 2010 06:09PM
Sweet!



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Creating a contrast mask
December 08, 2010 07:02PM
But, Monsieur Daguerre-eeek, how did you persuade the bear to remain motionless for the entire process?
avatar Re: Creating a contrast mask
December 08, 2010 07:31PM
Quote
szalkowski
But, Monsieur Daguerre-eeek, how did you persuade the bear to remain motionless for the entire process?

Isn't it obvious? You just bribe him with a pic-a-nic basket!



avatar Re: Creating a contrast mask
December 10, 2010 06:39PM
Another example of the results:



Re: Creating a contrast mask
December 17, 2010 08:35AM
Nice tutorial. Contrasty situations occur in forested settings a lot. I shoot in raw mode to make it easier to bring out details like you got with your technique.
avatar Re: Creating a contrast mask
December 24, 2010 08:05PM
Another example:

avatar Re: Creating a contrast mask
December 25, 2010 12:32PM
Thanks, I'll try this sometime. However, so far I've gotten similar results using the "fill light" slider just a bit in Adobe Camera RAW. But for JPEGs or photos where fill light makes it look artificial I'll definitely try this.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dqniel/
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