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  #1  
Old October 5th, 2006, 07:17 AM
Frank Piechorowski Frank Piechorowski is offline
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Default Marlene Dietrich Meets the 21st Century..

Per the request of my customer she wanted to try to capture an image looking like Marlene Dietrich in a 40's studio shot...

Here's how we did it.

From the original image... The blue gel was selected for the tone it would convert to in B&W.



First we want to bring the highlights up
1) Copy background to new layer, set to screen mode
2) Add Layer Mask
3) <Image><apply Image> - Background, Green Channel, Multiply 100%
4) Adjust opac to taste - Flatten

Now some lab mode adjustments - <Image><Mode><Lab>
1) Do an AB Lab Step
1a) Add Curves Layer - On the A and B channels pull the top and bottom points in to the center 11% each
2) On the Lightness channel do fine tuning of the highlight / shadow balance.
3) Flatten
4) Shift to the channels pallet and select the lightness channel
5) Do a Hiraloam Sharpen (High Radius Low Amount) sharpen to bring out some form.
6) Convert back to RBG <Image><Mode><RGB>

Next is time for some soft focus... to get just that hint of double image in her body...
1) Dupe the background <crtl><J>
2) Gossian Blur - Radius 1
3) Maximum Filter - Radius 12
4) Motion Blur - Distance 30px
5) Set Opacity 35%
6) Add Layer mask
7) Brush over eyes, nose and mouth with soft brush at 20%... layer it up to taste
8) Flatten

Now we'll add a nice glow to the image...
1) Dupe the background <ctrl><J>
2) Gossian Blur - Radius 36
3) <Image><Adjustments><Levels> - Mid to 1.40 - Highlights to 223
4) Change to Channels Pallet
5) <ctrl><click> the RGB Channel to make it the active selection
6) Change back to Layers Pallet
7) Do a New Layer Via Copy <ctrl><J> - Mode to Lighten
8) Delete the layer from step 1
9) Adjust glow to taste
10) Add layer mask and remove glow from eyes, lips - Flatten

Time for the B&W Conversion - I do this with 3 layers
1) Add a Hue & Saturation Layer - Mode Color - 100% - Name B&W Filter
2) Add a Curves Layer - Mode Overlay - 0% - Name Steroids
3) Add a Film Layer - More on this below ---
4) Add a Grain Layer - More on this below ---

With these three layers we can handle the converstion to B&W

Use the HUE slider on the B&W Filter layer to emulate having a filter on the lens - I wanted one that made the highlights on the skin very white, but left good tonal range across the skin..

Use the Opacity slider on the Steroids layer to add hard contrast. For a 40's style shot you want it to be VERY contrasty. Doing it this way adds a lot of punch.

B&W Film Layer
For you, I suggest that you add a Channel Mixer Layer and click the Monochrome check box.

Me? I'm a bit anal retentive (should that be hyphenated?) so a while back I did some studio shooting with a Color card and a gray card with about 20 different rolls of film under the same conditions and then scanned them with a film scanner. From the color cards I took reading to find custom values for the RGB channels for each type of film and from the gray samples I took different resolution samples of the actual grain patterns of that kind of film and saved them as photoshop patterns.

Now when I want an image to look like it was shot on Kodak Tmax 100, I can tone it with the correct Channel ratios and a realistic film grain.

For my image I selected Ilford Delta 400 Pro for both my film layer and my Grain layer.

To make the grain layer I add a new Pattern Layer, and filled it with the corresponding grain pattern and set the layer mode to Overlay. Wala! Instant Ilford Delta 400 Pro. - Adjust the opacity to taste.

Phew! Lot of steps? Yes. But the effect is incredibly realistic.

The detail image is a 50% cut so you can tell basically how it looks printed... and the 75% sample to observe the details in the film and grain texture.



My customer just loves it. I hope you do too.
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Bluff City Galleries
The Memphis Photographer
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  #2  
Old October 5th, 2006, 08:31 AM
John_Nevill John_Nevill is offline
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Well impressed Frank, its great to see how others process images at this step by step level. One learns subtle little tricks this way. Thanks for taking the time to compile and share.

The film scan data although a bit pixel (grain) peeping, definitely comes in handy for this type of application.
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  #3  
Old October 5th, 2006, 08:57 AM
Frank Piechorowski Frank Piechorowski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Nevill
The film scan data although a bit pixel (grain) peeping, definitely comes in handy for this type of application.
I agree. There is just something about the samples that FEEL so much more natural then the grains that PS creates.
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  #4  
Old October 5th, 2006, 08:59 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Frank,

Really interesting, and informative, thanks for posting.

Makes me wonder, 'though, how much they would have paid, back in the 1940's, to get something like your first shot.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #5  
Old October 6th, 2006, 06:08 AM
Luiz Vasconcellos Luiz Vasconcellos is offline
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WoW!
Amazing!!

BTW, when I saw the images without reading the text my first
thought was “Fantastic, that recolored picture looks like real!” :D
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