Friday, 7 January 2011

Drawing shadow areas from reference photographs

As I explained in an earlier article (see Working from photographs), details in photograph get lost in shadow areas. I have this issue when I print my reference photographs with my home printer on a sheet of A4 photo paper.

One way I found that helps with seeing details in the shadow areas consists in manipulating the photograph in Photoshop Element. I am using Adobe Photoshop Element 6.
If you want to invest in a good photo manipulation program, which remains easy to use and still has many features, go for the last version of this software which is currently Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 (PC DVD). There is also a version for Mac: Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 (Mac).

After I opened the photograph in Photoshop Element, I selected from the menu Filter/Sketch/Photocopy. The result was a negative black and white photograph.

I then had to invert the photograph to get the positive view: Filter/Adjustments/Invert. The result looked a little bit pale, so I decided to give it more contrast.

I applied Filter/Adjustment lighting/Brightness-Contrast. Using the cursor, I lowered the brightness to minus 88 (- 88) and boosted the contrast to 35 (+ 35).

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